By Scott Bruxvoort
Godson Eneogwe first started collecting shoes when he was sixteen years old.
“My older brother was into it and that made me just get into it.”
But that drive to collect shoes was something that quickly grew with Eneogwe. When he got his first pair of J’s (Air Jordans) He loved the thrill of getting shoes.
“I guess I just fell in love with the process of waiting outside.”
This process of waiting outside is a very common site in larger cities where shoe collectors are not hard to find. As shoes have evolved, so has the drive to buy, wear, and sell as many pairs as possible. Sneaker heads, or those who collect shoes, all over the country have been caught up in the craze of collecting as many pairs as possible. And little will stop them from getting that desired pair. Even if that means standing outside in line for hours on end.
With so many brands to choose from, there is often debate on what brand is the most desirable among shoe collectors. However, Eneogwe has one brand in particular that stands above all the rest.
“My favorite brand is Jordan obviously.”
But Eneogwe has seen a change in what brand of shoes he has been wearing and collecting lately.
“I’m slowly starting to like New Balance because they’re different, casual and still swag.”
But what makes shoes such a hot commodity? To some they are seen as just something to put on your feet before going outdoors, but to shoe collectors that pay upwards of $300 for a pair, they are much more than that. The advertising, rarity, hype and love of the shoe game have made the love for shoe collecting very popular amongst pop culture today. Regardless of age, race, gender or style, it is certain that a proper shoe collection will always be a must have to put that finishing touch on your preferred look. But while this hype might seem to pressure some into buying shoes, it did not affect Godson’s opinion.
“No one really encouraged me to buy shoes.” Said Eneogwe
Through many successful advertising strategies, popular shoes throughout time have been placed on a pedestal to the point of the ability to make you a great basketball player. Kids all over are begging their parents to buy them the newest style of shoes in hopes that they can be just like their favorite basketball player. And as long as the shoes keep selling, the advertisements will keep rolling. And while Eneogwe said earlier that no one influenced his passion for buying shoes, one player in particular might have had more of an impact that he thought.
“I remember in 6th grade though I was a Dwayne Wade fan and bought his shoe,” Said Eneogwe, “but that was the only time a player influenced me to buy shoes.”
Sneakers have risen in price as the demand and hype for the shoes has drastically improved throughout the years. By only releasing specific shoes every five or six years, the rarity factor plays into effect and creates the long lines outside of shoe dealers on the morning of releases. It is very common for collectors to pay upwards of 300-500 dollars for a pair of shoes. But Godson never let the price get the best of him.
“The most I have ever spent on shoes was probably $210,” Said Eneogwe
And that price was enough to discourage him from doing that ever again.
“That’s something I’ll never do again, shoes are materialistic items and I don’t think they should be costing an arm and a leg.”
While Jordans are predominantly the most popular, and expensive shoe on the market, it is common to see collectors such as Eneogwe starting to branch off and collect other brands.
“I started collecting New Balance because they are affordable and still look good.”
No matter what your brand loyalty is, if you rock any pair of the top desirable shoes, it can take your outfit and confidence to a whole new level.
“I have over 20 pairs,” said Eneogwe, “And that number is not going to slow down anytime soon.”
Students at Quincy University such as Eneogwe have some of the better shoe collections around, and they are not shy to shoe them off. Some collections on campus are around 50 pairs to one individual. The overall values of some of the collections are well over thousands of dollars. Students collect for a number of reasons, to make a fashion statement, to drive their brand loyalty, or to emulate the celebrity that advertises the specific pair of shoes. No matter what the reason is, it is without doubt that the sneaker heads like Godson show no sign of slowing down.
“When I put on my favorite shoe, it gives me more confidence throughout the day,” Said Eneogwe, “I mean if I feel good then I’ll most likely have a good day.”